On Tuesday my daughter called me to describe "feelings" she was having, and I said I was packing up and heading her way. She wasn't in labor at that time, but we both just thought it was going to happen in the next 24-48 hours, and there was a full moon, and I told her I was coming down. I was babysitting Supergirl at the time and didn't get as much advance packing done as I should have, but even that ultimately didn't matter. I woke up Wed. to HEAVY, DENSE FOG, the kind that makes getting on the road at the crack of dawn seem like a risk not worth taking. So I packed a few fragile things I wanted to bring with me, loaded the car, watched the weather, and got a text from Girlmama - she was having contractions 7 min. apart. Okay, I was definitely getting on the road as soon as the fog lifted. I was not trying to race the baby, but I did want to arrive in time to be useful around the house while they were busy with the baby and hospital stuff. And, of course, visit them in the hospital this evening.
She called to report that she was checked in at the hospital a bit after noon, reported an epidural a bit later, and we chatted a couple of times. I got to the house at 7:30 Wed. evening, my dogs and their dogs had a love fest and dinner, I let them out a couple of times and then told them I was leaving again. I fully expected to get to the hospital to find my new granddaughter already there.
I got to the hospital at 9, and met with the other set of grandparents. No baby yet.
I went in to see my daughter for a minute, but she threw me out before I got past the door - she was in pain and didn't want any company. Not a problem - she was doing this and all I wanted was for her to do it her way, and for it to go well. So the grandparents hung out together and waited. We received confusing messages from the birthing suite - text from Daddy - "pushing." Then nothing. Then a secondhand report from a text he'd sent to his brother - "She has a lot of hair!" Then, nothing. Was the baby born or not?
Oh, and I also discovered right about this time that my own phone was totally dead, dead, dead, despite nearly 2 hours on the car charger, and I wanted to smash that expensive HTC Thunderbolt with a hammer. Of all the times I needed it, on a day it was put into service providing vital communication between family members, it decided to retire to its fainting couch. A lovely girl on the hospital staff lent me her charger and saved the remainder of the evening.
The hospital treats its patients like celebrities on press lockdown. Even grandparents get nothing when asking for status updates, and we were left deciphering conflicting text messages - she's pushing and the baby has a lot of hair? Huhwhat? And she's in a lot of pain despite the epidural? HuhwhatWTF?
Finally, right before 11 p.m., son-in-law appeared with pictures of a 7 lb. 8 oz. 20.5 inch long little girl with a full head of hair. She looked lovely and adorably disgruntled - definitely very aware that her evening had totally sucked.
Grandparents finally got past the security doors to meet her. The long delivery and pain was explained. Posterior presentation, back labor, the epidural wasn't much help under the circumstances, loong stretch of heavy duty pushing. The "lot of hair" text referred to the first glimpse, which lasted for quite a while. Locks of what looks like maybe curly hair entered the world a half hour before she did.
Basically, the best laid plans of popping the baby out by 8 after a nice comfy epidural went all to hell, but Granddaughter was out and looking only slightly worse for wear. Her Mommy is also only slightly worse for wear - excited and tired and happy. She did inform her daughter that she was going to be an only child. :-)
And her daughter is beautiful, alert, examining her mommy's face when she talks to her, nursing well, and does have the most amazing head of hair. I can't wait to see her after it's shampooed - whether it really is that curly. Intense eyes, long eyelashes - did I mention that my phone was mostly dead AND I ABSENT-MINDEDLY STUCK MY SMALL CAMERA IN MY COMPUTER BAG INSTEAD OF MY PURSE when I left this morning and didn't have it with me? I have one unspectacular shot of an annoyed newborn in a diaper and a hat, getting her first physical from the nurse.
Fortunately, her grandpa is a serious camera guy with a big, serious camera, and he'll email me the great pics he took. Please pretend this was an illustrated story.
Its 3 a.m. and I'm still awake. I really need to get some sleep - but tonight was just too damn much fun.